Our round-up of live music
in April 2015
Our monthly look at some of Leicester’s live music.
NEW. We will now use the monthly round-up pages to list shows that we will be reviewing and to publicise shows that we think will be good. This replaces our page called Gigs list.
The list of (what were) forthcoming shows has moved down the page.
Wednesday 29th April
We went to The Shed to see Matt Humphries, The Reckless Youth, Evanstar, Eva Plays Dead and Patriot Rebel.
The Reckless Youth were at the O2’s scholar bar at the weekend. Here is our review.
Tonight TRY played their own songs: Reckless Youth, Sinners in Disguise, This is Home, Lone Soldier, Evening Cabaret and Hearts, Fires, Animals. The band members are: Ash Wright – Vocals, Leon Harrold – Bass, Kieran Langley – Drums, Harry Pentony – Guitar and Kyle Harrold – Guitar. They launched their set with a blaze of rumbling bass riffs. Try’s songs deliver punchy beats, relentless rhythms, chanty vocals tightly woven into numbers that are strong on impact. Lots of energy on stage, jumping up at the right spots and you can see that they all enjoy making music. This is a band with a lot of experience – both in performance and in song-writing. If you like pop-rock fused with metal this is a band you should go to see.
Back in June last year we saw Evanstar at The Shed when they supported Fourpointoh. reviewing that gig I wrote of them: Evanstar have been around for a long time. I seem to remember some of them when they were in Kill The Batman. They had a set of rockin’ songs lead by the full-on vocals of lead singer Stuart James Instrell. It was a well-polished performance from a band with some experienced musicians. They played their own songs and has their own sound. So, that was good. [Music in Leicester] another Leicester band with no shortage of experience in playing over several years.
It’s been a long time since I last saw this band from Nottingham/Derby. In fact the last time was November 2013, at The Musician. Reviewing that night I said of them: Eva Plays Dead brought the power of punk-edged rock to the evening’s proceedings. Formerly known in a previous incarnation as Bury The Ladybird, this Derby band has grown in stature. Now a well established band, they (like Satellite Empire) are noted for a strong female lead singer (Tiggy Dockerty) and tonight’s performance revealed them as an impressive talent on the East Midlands music scene. [Music in Leicester] Their songs had plenty of action and attack, with three singers going at once, their songs had plenty of depth, banging out fuelled beats backed by relentless rhythms and delivering lashings of energy on stage.
Headlining tonight’s show was Patriot Rebel. When they played at The Shed in February last year, our reviewer said of them: one of Nottingham’s finest hard rock bands came over to Leicester for an evening full of metal, punk and absolute mayhem. Patriot Rebel played a cracking set, and although this was another band I had not yet seen, I can’t wait to see them again, a great sound from a great live band. [Music in Leicester] Tonight, they rounded off a good evening’s music in fine style. From the opening bars of the their first song, you knew you were in for something thrilling. Their lead singer had a voice that split the air – powerful, acute and controlled. At the back their drummer was thrashing the skins like a maniac. Together they delivered music that was taught and decisive. They pumped out megawatts of power and sucked you into their whirlwind of turbulent sounds. It was an exhilarating experience.
Saturday 25th April
Friday 24th April
Wednesday 22nd April
Chelsea Tring, Lydia Mason, Midnight Birds, Flight 15 and Velocity were on stage at The Shed.
This show was in aid of the Teenage Cancer Trust. A night of teenagers making music to raise funds for a charity devoted to teenagers. Very laudable.
Alternative rock band from Peterborough in Cambridgeshire, Midnight Birds, were a four-piece band with a free-standing lead vocalist (Matt Ivo) and a singing drummer (Joe Pickett) and they were playing their first performance at The Shed. They were good, as was their set of original songs.
Flight15 is a band that we have reviewed several times recently. When we saw them at The Musician at the first of the OBS semi-finals, we said: Playing to a packed venue, the celebrated trio of teenagers that would make bands twice their age green with envy. In a city rated for its young bands, Flight15 stands out as one of the best. Tonight, they delivered a spectacular performance. [Music in Leicester]
A roll of thunder and flashing lights heralded the start of Flight15’s set. These teenagers perform like gods of rock. Their ability to produce massive rock sounds is staggering. The band ended its set with My Generation by The Who.
The one thing you can say about Velocity is that they are four singular musicians. They seem like a band that all have music in their souls. From the way that they perform on stage you can see that each member has their own personality. One of Leicester’s finest rock covers bands. Read about Velocity on Music in Leicester.
People might complain about the music scene in Leicester. As tonight demonstrated there are good musical experiences to be had in this city – which, I might add, has a music history going back decades. The music of Leicester should be much more widely celebrated.
Jamie Borland was doing the lighting tonight. He certainly beefed up the visuals.
Tonight copies of The Martian by Andy Weir were given out free as part of World Book Night.
Saturday 18th April
The Musician hosted the first of two semi-finals for the OBS. On the same page we also report on the callback show held on 4th April.
Friday 17th April
Thursday 16th April
The Shed. A night put on by LC Promotions.
Upstairs: Kill City Radio, The Chase, The Reaper, Synchromix band.
Downstairs: Revealer, Where I’m Bound, Distorted Encounter.
All the way from Glasgow, Kill City Radio opened the show with a set that had plenty of lively sounds and an energetic performance from their lead vocalist. Their set of pop punk sounds that all the familiar riffs you would want from this genre. In the basement I saw Where I’m bound. They were good. Nottingham band The Chase I had seen before. They were the guest band at the OBS night at The Musician in February. Back then I described them as “excellent” and tonight I would repeat that again. [Music in Leicester] The band had a good selection of songs, played music that was good to listen to and ear-pleasing melodies. This is a band that I like every time I see them. They always make a good impression on me. Follow The Chase on Facebook. In the basement Revealer: explosive, wild, crazy, utterly awesome.
Upstairs: The Reaper. I saw this band for the first time in June last year when they were at one of the Shed’s young bands nights. Clearly very impressed with them, I said: With strong vocals from lead singer Joey Kenny, the band’s first song thundered through the room. The two guitarists sang and they soon had the room vibrating with their wonderful, big metal sounds. On stage they were all living the music, putting total commitment into their music. Their big, ballsy metal songs were delivered with megawatts of energy – in a way you would normally expect only from groups twice their age. The guitar solos were blisteringly impressive. Great walls of sound and an exhilarating stage presence were the hallmarks of what they did. Vigorous stage craft is not something usually seen in young bands, so The Reaper’s energetic performance on stage was very impressive. The vocals from the lead guitarist were exceptionally good (he not only sang the words, he acted them too) and all four of them played high a high standard of technical excellence. [Music in Leicester] Seeing them again tonight I would just want to add – these are four teenagers who really know what metal is all about. They sizzled, they were brilliant, they played a set of songs that burst from the stage like showers of fireworks. Everything about this band was right; they gave a performance that was astonishingly good. Their guitar solos blew me away. Reaper’s performance tonight was sensational. Follow The Reaper on Facebook.
Wednesday 15th April
Neon Waltz at The Soundhouse with Bloodsugar and The Jangles.
Sunday 12th April
You can wait for many months for a Sunday gig to come along; and then two arrive at the same time. We went to see Robert Vincent at the Cookie Jar and Jinder at The Musician.
with Emily Crane, Scott Howard, Peter James Tilson, Claire Schofield and Jinder.
A vibrant artist with a voice that carried plenty of presence and fizz. Her punchy songs were pleasant to listen to. Tonight Crane displayed her talents both as a song and as a song-writer.
Scott Howard, from Leicester, sang a set of his own songs beginning with Freedom. Howard used to be the rhythm guitarist in Leicester band The Tea Leaves. His lyrics told a story and tonight he distinguished himself as a skilled songsmith. Peter James Millson brought a fine clear voice to the microphone.
Appealing, heart-felt lyrics backed by quality work on the guitar.
Claire Schofield had a voice that was pleasant and a set of songs that were equally as appealing. Schofield gave a performance that was altogether delightful.
She made a lighthouse, which was on stage with her (complete with a light) to act as a visual aid for her song of the same name. Jonezy was in the audience tonight; he told me “She used different instruments to bring a set of soulful stories to life. She engaged with the audience and drew us all into her songs (some of which were from her album). Clair Schofield is an artist to look out for.” Headlining tonight’s show was Jinder.
An extraordinary artist, quite exceptional, Jinder introduced each of his songs giving the background to them, explaining what they were about. An artist with a great store of character and many good qualities, Jinder had a great line in chat (this reminded me of Miles Hunt whose set was divided between talking and playing.) His songs were amazing.
Robert Vincent with Martha Bean.
Playing in Leicester today, Robert Vincent was doing his tour Life In Easy Steps. The singer from Liverpool has been described as ‘Robert Vincent has been described as a Mersey Van Morrision or a Scouse Springsteen.’ A busy singer and songwriter, Vincent was on stage with five musicians and three vocalists. They performed songs from his recent album which has the same name as the tour. His set of uplifting songs delivered vocal harmonies that were particularly good. Even though I am not a devotee of style of music, the quality of the music and the fine performances from all the band members made this a satisfying set, even for me. On a Sunday afternoon a room full of people had turned out for this show. Their good humored presence on stage combined with exquisite music drew an enthusiastic response from the audience. It was good that a band of this caliber had come to Leicester as part of a national tour.
Martha Bean is a singer and songwriter for whom I have great respect and appreciation. Beginning her set with a song that was soft and quiet, she soon filled the room with atmospheric music that brought out the full quality of her vocals, backed by delicate guitar playing. It was a consummate experience; singing that has subtlety of expression and sublime feelings. With Bean was Joel on the Wurlitzer and together they made a variety of songs that has considerable ingenuity and charm.
Saturday 11th April
Wakeup Promotions at Sumo.
Wakeup Promotions put on a great night at Sumo at which we saw a very good line-ups of band: Boundary, Flight 15, The Great Imitation and Sepia Sun.
Coventry band Boundary opened the show and Flight15 from Leicester delivered another astonishingly good performance. Boundary, from Coventry, opened their set with a pretty good song called Jazzy which cantered along with catchy riffs and plenty of rhythm. The band’s bassist comes from Leicester, I think.
Flight15, from Leicester, is a band that is still quite young but they make music that has a maturity far beyond their years.
Technically they are brilliant. The band’s guitar playing is impressive and it all comes together in a set of songs that spectacular.
There is nothing like The Great Imitation. Lead singer/rapper James Scott-Howes puts on a show that is mesmerising.
It is so good that they are back on the scene again after not been around for a time. I saw them when they played at The Soundhouse in January and wrote a full review of the band – read more about this.
Sepia Sun is an electo. band; no vocals just tunes with lots of atmosphere. Exciting and mixing layers of sound into waves of colour. A mix of live instruments and electronic samples. Mind blowing and utterly awesome.
Saturday 4th April
The call-back heat of OBS provides seven bands with another stab at the semi-finals. These were the bands that failed to get through but were considered good enough to bring back for a second opinion. So, as a result of tonight’s judging Ladies, Linear, Velocity and English Guns will be taking part in the semifinals.
Friday 3rd April – The Shed
Elevant from Liverpool and in the basement a line-up of hardcore and metal bands that included Basilisk, Witch, Cold Life, Protect Your Necks and Idle Hands.
Liverpool band Elevant were already on stage when I arrived at The Shed. This trio had some smashing guitar work and sparkling energy to go with the fervent drumming. Technically they were good, pumping out volumes of fuelled-up music and clearly people in the room were enjoying what they were doing.
Down in the basement the room was heaving. It was so crowded down there I had to listen from the stairwell. Kids were going crazy in the mosh-pit for the line-up of hardcore ravers that made the atmosphere crackle with static electricity and power. Downstairs was Basilisk, With, Cold Life, Protect Your Necks and Idle hands.
Upstairs I heard The Black? What Nothing. Odd name (if I got it right); the bands’ lead singer sounded like Suzi Quarto, I thought. The five-piece band had a metal sound, pretty hard rock. They were very loud but their cascade of sounds and stomping beats were infectious.
Thursday 2nd April
We went to see The Fores. Also on stage tonight: Alias Kid. A five-member band with three singers. It was a blinding set. The Fores is a well-known local band that I have been following for years. Strong, rocky songs, compelling rhythms… this is a band that stands out. They are band whose music makes you feel good. The music of The Fores is an instantly recognisable style. When it comes to rock these guys certainly know what it’s all about.
The list of gigs we had put in for this month – moved down from the top of the page:
Saturday 16th May
The final of the original bands showcase.
Saturday 9th May
Dreaming in Colour Productions
Headlined by Great Imitation
Saturday 2nd May
Omaha with support from The World Can Wait
1st May to 3rd May
The Handmade Festival
Friday 25th April
The Cookie, Preview: Art Party
ART PARTY is a homage to The Attic Art Party’s which used to be presented at The Cookie five years ago. Presenting previews of Handmade Festival’s Artists work and also the best local comedy and bands, and to finish the night off we have a DJ set to bring home the vibes. Get a sneak peak of this years Art from Steven Mills, Chris Bragg and more. Comedy from Lucy Thompson and Danny Clives. Music from HulaGirls. Followed by DJ set
Get more information from the Handmade Festival website.
Saturday 25th April
A hugely good line-up that includes Martyr de Mona, Ronin and Linear.
Saturday 25th April
Second of two semi-finals of the Original Bands showcase.
Friday 24th April
O2 Academy Leicester
Leicester band Reckless Youth launches; read more
Thursday 23rd April